You are planning to prepare some legal documents. The problem is, you don’t know how much legal document preparation fees are. No worries. We are here to help. In this post, we explain what these fees are, how lawyers charge for document preparation services, and types of documents and their costs.

What Are Legal Document Preparation Fees?

These are fees that lawyers charge to draft, create, or prepare legal documents. There are many types of legal documents, which include

  • Personal or business documents
  • Living trust and will
  • Probate
  • Divorce
  • Contracts
How Do Lawyers Charge to Prepare Legal Documents?

There are two ways lawyers charge to prepare legal documents: flat fee rates and hourly rates.

Flat fee rates

Flat fee billing is a popular way lawyers charge to prepare legal documents. A lawyer will quote the client a flat fee for their services after they understand their assignment and the terms that need to be included in the document.

A typical flat fee includes consultation, document drafting, and revisions. On average, legal document preparation fees are in the $600 range.

Hourly rates

There is also hourly rate billing. Many lawyers choose to charge their clients on an hourly basis for their services. On average, the hourly rate that a business lawyer charges for preparing legal documents ranges from $250 to $350 per hour.

Types of Legal Documents and Costs

Below, we listed some types of Legal documents and their estimated costs.

1. Personal or Business Documents

Legal document preparation fees vary, depending on whether the documents are for an individual or a business. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean business proceedings always cost more. There are multiple factors that affect the price such as the type of documents.

Not all law firms charge the same, either. For instance, law firms in California might charge around $500 to help a client complete documents to form a limited liability company, around $300 and up for judgment enforcement documents, and around $65 and up for legal messenger.

Meanwhile, Phoenix-based law firms might charge $199 to help a client complete documents to form a limited liability company.

2. Living Trust and Will

Living trusts and wills are not the same thing. A living trust enables people to avoid probate court. On the other hand, probate is required to confirm the validity of a will. Legal document preparation fees for living trusts and wills vary.

Legal document preparation fees to prepare living trust documents for an individual range from $430 to $600. For a couple, it ranges from $530 to $750. The service includes the living trust, a pour-over will, a living will, healthcare, and powers of attorney documents.

3. Probate

The costs of uncontested and contested wills are different. In general, full probate for uncontested wills is less costly than contested ones. For uncontested wills, full probate can cost $4,500. For contested wills, $4,500 plus any additional time at the lawyer’s hourly rate.

Of course, not all lawyers charge the same amount of fee. Some lawyers will ask their clients so they can create an estimate of the document preparation fee cost.

4. Divorce

A lawyer, paralegal, or legal document assistant can help draft and file the required legal forms for divorce. Similar to other legal documents, multiple factors affect the final cost. For example, asset division and whether there are children or not.

The cost of divorce document preparation can start at $240 for divorce without children and $340 with children. There are also law firms that charge flat rates for divorce paperwork preparation, starting at $500.

5. Contracts

Contracts come in many types. Some of the most popular contract drafting projects are service contract, partnership agreement, single-member operating agreement, multi-member operating agreement, terms of service, privacy policy, and employment contract.

How much legal document preparation fees for these contracts? Of course, each contract has a different cost. The following are the contract document types and their average costs.

  • Service contract: $505
  • Partnership agreement: $625
  • Single-member operating agreement: $450
  • Multi-member operating agreement: $950
  • Terms of service: $450
  • Privacy policy: $450
  • Employment contract: $500

Keep in mind that these are the average flat fee rates. Meaning, it is the amount of money you need to pay to complete a project.

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More about Contract Drafting

More about Contract Drafting

Lawyers provide contract drafting services to clients who need to create legal documents to regulate transactions. The process of contract drafting involves consultation, in which the client consults with the lawyer on the terms that need to be included in the document.

Once the lawyer understands the assignment and has identified the terms, they will create a first version of the contract for the client to review and provide feedback.

Contract drafting is an iterative process. It may take some revisions to get the document to say what the client wants and at the same time, protect them.

Hiring a lawyer for contract drafting is recommended considering contracts are vital to businesses. They regulate the relationships businesses have with customers, employees, investors, and others.

Common Legal Document Preparation Projects

Service contract

This type of contract is a legal document that regulates the relationship between a service provider and their clients. Service providers usually want service contracts that ensure their best interests are protected.

Employment contract

Employment contracts are legal documents that govern the relationship between businesses and employees. Considering how highly litigious employment law is, it is best to have a lawyer create it.

Terms of service and privacy policy

Website agreements, such as Terms of service and privacy policy are becoming a popular contract drafting project nowadays. These legal documents manage the relationship between a website and its users.

Investment contract

Investment contracts usually involve the exchange of a large amount of money. As such, it is best to have a lawyer create the contract.

Asset purchase agreement

Asset purchase agreements are legal documents used when a business wants to buy assets from another business.

So, how much legal document preparation fees? As the estimated costs above have shown you, the fees vary. They depend on many factors, including the type of document, details related to the document, and the lawyer, among other things.